When Should You Start Investigating Your Alzheimer's Care Options?

Posted on: 16 July 2020

If a parent or other loved one is beginning to show signs of memory loss, you may be watching with concern. How will you know when it's time for them to seek more care than you or other loved ones can offer? Is a memory care facility the right choice? Learn about a few signs it may be time to put a loved one in an Alzheimer's or memory care facility, as well as factors to consider when investigating your options. 

When is it time for memory care?

Each situation is different, but there are a few common threads experienced by those who have sought memory care for their loved ones. 

  • A general decline in health and the ability to take care of personal needs, often seen through a messier house, an empty refrigerator, or failure to take prescribed medications.
  • Withdrawal from social events they once enjoyed.
  • Caregiver fatigue—when you and other family members are no longer able to keep up with your loved one's needs or frequently worry about your loved one's safety.
  • A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Your loved one may suffer from a marked loss of weight because they've stopped grocery shopping, cooking, or eating. Their hygiene may be poorer because they're not showering or brushing their teeth regularly. And financial problems, like disconnected utilities or late payment notices, can be a warning sign that someone is no longer able to manage their own affairs.

What should you consider when choosing a memory care facility? 

If you're ready to choose a memory care facility with your loved one, there are a few questions you'll want to ask.

  • What facilities and services are included in the cost?
  • How are staff trained? What level of training is required?
  • Are rooms private or semi-private? If private, will they remain private?
  • What happens when my loved one needs more extensive care?
  • How is the community secured—from both inside and outside?
  • What meals are provided? Are alternatives available?
  • What community activities can my loved one take part in?
  • What level of communication will staff provide to family members?

In the COVID-19 era, you'll also want to tour the facility and look for evidence of their sanitation practices. Many outbreaks have been associated with nursing homes and assisted living facilities, so ensuring that staff is adhering to social distancing guidelines and sanitary practices can provide you with peace of mind about your loved one's health.